Cubic zirconia looks a lot like diamonds, but is actually synthetically-crafted gemstones. Because they look like diamonds, they are very popular but have a much more affordable price tag. Cubic zirconia is oftentimes used in making earrings, rings, pendants, bracelets and other types of jewelry. Even though cubic zirconia is a synthetic stone, it draws inspiration from zirconium oxide. Cubic zirconia is “grown” in a lab where yttrium oxide is melted together with zirconium oxide to create crystals of cubic zirconia.
As a gemstone, cubic zirconia is flawless and crystalline, and is sufficiently clear to be rated as a “D” on the color scale for diamonds. Although cubic zirconia is typically colorless, it can be crafted in essentially all colors. Cubic zirconia is harder than nearly all other gems, making it a durable choice. Cubic zirconia is weightier than diamond, and has a higher rate of dispersion. Dispersion is a reference to the ability of the mineral to separate light into wavelengths. Cubic zirconia is a great choice when you want a fabulous piece of jewelry that is affordable and stylish at the same time.
Some Brief History
No other synthetic gemstone available on the market has impacted the jewelry industry like cubic zirconia. It is referred to as CZ in the jewelry industry. Cubic zirconia first became available in 1978. Prices for the synthetic gem were a bit pricey when first introduced in comparison to today’s costs.
Cubic zirconia was first made in the country of Russia. It was made for use in laser technology. Russia was lacking resources for rubies. These rubies were needed to create laser beams. Russians began to search for a synthetic material with the qualities and characteristics of the ruby. They soon developed the cubic zirconia gemstone. Soon, it was discovered that this beautiful new gem would make the ideal jewelry as it much resembled a diamond.
Over recent years, numerous manufacturers have searched for ways in improving CZ in order to give it distinguishable characteristics. One innovative technique used in the industry is to cat the cubic zirconia with a carbon film that is diamond-like. This process uses chemical vapor deposition. This produces a harder material that closely resembles the diamond. It also improves the refractive index.
How to Choose Your Cubic Zirconia
Many individuals choose the beautiful cubic zirconia. This allows individuals to have the look of a flawless gemstone without the price. When choosing a piece of jewelry made with cubic zirconia, you must first decide on the cut wanted. Many of the more popular choices are princess, radiant and brilliant.
Once the cut is chosen, the color of the cubic zirconia gemstone must be selected. Clear CZ stones will give off a reflection of the surrounding light causing a rainbow of colors. You might want to opt for cubic zirconia stones in colors of pink, blue, red, brown and more. Be sure to avoid cubic zirconia stones that have a dull or somewhat cloudy look to them.
Cubic zirconia gemstones should be chosen that have DLC coating. This gives hardness and a diamond sparkle to the CZ. When the surface of a cubic zirconia is not hard, scratching will occur on the surface and the edges ruining its appearance.
The more light that your cubic zirconia stone receives, the more it will sparkle and shine. This will depend greatly on the setting or mounting that you choose. Stones are held in place by the mounting or prongs. Most commonly, the prong setting that is chosen is four or six. This increases the light amount that reaches your stone.
Potential buyers of cubic zirconia should always remember that you only get the quality of stone that you are willing to pay for. This is true of all types of stones and not just cubic zirconia. If you choose a cheaper variation of the cubic zirconia, you may not get the look of a real diamond.